WALTER THE FARTING DOG is the title character of a series of children's books written by William Kotzwinkle and Glenn Murray, and illustrated by Audrey Colman. The first book was published in 2001. By 2011, the first book had reported sales of more than 1.4 million hardcover copies, and the series had grown to five titles.
* 1 Publishing history * 2 Reception * 3 Books in series * 4 In other languages * 5 References
Kotzwinkle and Murray conceived the idea for the first book in 1990, inspired by a real-life dog named Walter, whose owner fed him doughnuts and beer and who was prone to foul-smelling flatulence . With assistance from Kotzwinkle's wife, Elizabeth Gundy, they devised a story about a dog who overcomes two burglars with his smelly farts. Eleven years passed before they found a willing publisher, North Atlantic Books , and the right illustrator, Audrey Colman. The book was a success and reached the top of The New York Times children's best seller list . Beginning with the second book, the series has been published by Penguin Books , and Gundy began receiving credit with the third book.
In 2008, it was reported that plans were under way to develop the
series as a movie project for the
The books have been criticized by some as an example of "poop fiction" for children (in the same vein as titles such as Captain Underpants and Zombie Bums from Uranus ); they have been subjected to occasional complaints and attempts to have the books withdrawn from libraries, and some librarians and bookstores have refused to carry the series. On the other hand, librarians (and others) have credited the books with effectively attracting young readers who might otherwise be hard to reach. In addition, many copies have been sold to adults. White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten reportedly kept the book in his office as a "conversation-starter".
The New Statesman 's John Sutherland , comparing Walter to the 1956 children's classic Harry the Dirty Dog , commented that Walter "is to Harry as Portnoy was to sexually uptight Holden Caulfield - dirtier". Noting that the "books carry the epigraph 'For everyone who is misjudged or misunderstood'", he concluded that they are ultimately about promoting "self-esteem".
BOOKS IN SERIES
All are by William Kotzwinkle , Glenn Murray, and illustrated by Audrey Colman except as noted:
* Walter the Farting Dog (2001) ISBN 1-58394-053-7 * Walter the Farting Dog: Trouble at the Yard Sale (2004) ISBN 0-525-47217-7 (This book has also been released in the U.K. as Walter the Farting Dog Farts Again and as Walter the Farting Dog: Trouble at the Garage Sale in Australia.) * Rough Weather Ahead for Walter the Farting Dog (2005) ISBN 0-525-47218-5 (co-written with Elizabeth Gundy) (this book has also been released as '